Catalogue description THE BUXTON PAPERS

This record is held by Cambridge University Library: Department of Manuscripts and University Archives

Details of Buxton
Reference: Buxton

The Buxton family seems to have had, throughout most of its history, a strong propensity to collect every document relating to its estates, personal and official affairs, preserving not only important documents such as deeds and estate records, but even quite trivial items such as invitations, memoranda or scraps of writings which had come to it or passed through its hands. The principal interest of the collection lies in the light it sheds, across many centuries, on local East Anglian society and on the interaction of the county of Norfolk with national affairs. The range of the material is considerable, opening up a wide range of potential research avenues.


1. Deeds and charters


There are some 1200 deeds and charters, half of which date from c. 1160 to 1500. Many of the earlier deeds relate to lands in Tibenham, Bunwell, Thetford Priory and Earsham, but the vast majority concern lands in Rushford and Shadwell and are relevant to the foundation of Rushford College in 1342 and its subsequent history. This collection of deeds is complemented by numerous abstracts of title compiled mainly during the sixteenth century.


2. Estate records


As might be expected, the records for Buxton properties in Tibenham and Rushford/Shadwell are the most extensive. There are remarkably complete runs of court rolls and court books between 1327 and 1692 for the manors in Bunwell, Carleton Rode and Tibenham, including Channons. Strangely, though, there is only one court roll from Rushford (1453-62). The great mass of copies of court rolls, court extracts, bailiffs' accounts, rentals, extents, terriers, abbuttals, surveys, farm books and related material, extend from the fourteenth to the middle of the nineteenth century, providing a comprehensive source for local and social historians, as well as for the history of land ownership and land management in Norfolk over a period of some 600 years. A score of other manors such as Aslacton, Banham, Earsham, Forncett, Moulton and Wilby are also represented, if less comprehensively.


3. Personal and domestic papers


Most generations of the Buxton family have left account books of personal and domestic expenses, revealing details of their lifestyles, interests and cultural tastes. Worthy of particular mention are the accounts of two different John Buxtons (for 1627-31/1653-4 and 1737-65 respectively), and a fairly complete run of housekeeping accounts for Shadwell between 1725 and 1823. Other interesting material includes accounts of school and college expenses (seventeenth and eighteenth centuries); journals and diaries recording travels by Buxtons in England or on the Continent, for example the diary of John Buxton who died at Orléans in 1682, part of young Elizabeth Cholmeley's 'Journal of a season in town' (1825) or the descriptions of yacht cruises in the Mediterranean and the English Channel (1852-5); an early manuscript booklet (1588) and several loose papers (sixteenth and seventeenth centuries) containing recipes for medical, veterinary and horticultural treatments; a report of a séance (1866); and school exercises and notes compiled in the pursuit of university studies (seventeenth and eighteenth centuries).


4. Papers relating to county administration and politics


The Buxtons' involvement in the political, administrative, legal and military affairs of their county is witnessed by numerous documents, relating to the office of High Sheriff, the collection of ship money, tax assessments for the raising of arms and troops, musters for the Navy or the Norfolk militia, prison accounts, initiatives against poaching, and election campaigns. There also remain interesting collections of papers dealing with criminal cases (magistrates' business) from times when Buxtons acted as Justices of the Peace (mainly late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries).


5. Correspondence


Over 3000 letters (1519-1926) are preserved among the Buxton Papers. Most of these are of a private nature, conveying personal messages or dealing with every-day concerns, family affairs, estate matters, illnesses, life at school or university, books, the planting of trees, communicating or commenting on local, national or international affairs. Such letters afford intriguing glimpses into the private lives of the writers, their lifestyles, their concerns and expectations. Some letters deserve special mention here, for example, Robert Buxton's correspondence with the Howards, in particular with the Earl of Arundel (1577-83). From the same period (1571) there is a letter in Latin, possibly the only extant writing of James Crocket, a recusant executed in 1586. From the middle of the next century there are some amusing letters of Thomas Knyvett to his friend John Buxton. Between 1767 and 1770 George Brisac, lieutenant in the Royal Navy, writes from HMS Romsey off the North American coast, describing his experience of life in the Navy; thirty years later, now a captain and former commander of HMS Iris, he deplores his, naturally wholly undeserved, court martial. From the same period, some letters of Leonard Buxton contain polemical outbursts against the monarchy while expressing his sympathies with the independence movement in North America. The very extensive political correspondence of Robert John Buxton in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries sheds much light on the political events and opinions in the county. Of special interest in the nineteenth century is a collection of love letters (1854-63) exchanged between Lady Elizabeth Buxton, then in her fifties, and the octogenarian bishop of Ely, Thomas Turton, while Lord Wolseley and Walter Spencer Stanhope of the 15th Hussars, a Buxton relative, write from the Nile expedition of 1884-5.


6.Architectural drawings and sketches


These drawings, executed by John Buxton (1685-1731), are mainly of Shadwell Lodge and the stables at Channons.


7. Wills and probates


There are c. 100 wills and probates of the Buxtons and related families.


8. Papers of related families


The collection contains many papers originating from families into which the Buxtons married. Of some interest is the personal notebook of Richard Wilton of Topcroft Hall, a Buxton son-in-law, recording in great detail the minutiae of a country squire's life between 1580 and 1630. Weekly bills for domestic expenses, travel costs, the financial burdens of providing a university education for Wilton's sons, as well as notes on members of the Wilton family, may all be found here. From the Pert and Conyers families in Essex there are numerous papers relating to their estates in Broadholme, Nottinghamshire, and Saxilby and Hardwick in Lincolnshire (1536-1649). The Gooch family and their estates at Earsham are likewise well documented during the seventeenth century. Of particular interest here are the detailed business accounts of Leonard Holme, a merchant, ship outfitter and victualler of Great Yarmouth; his accounts (1639-41) were continued by his son-in-law and his family until 1680. Another family related to the Buxtons were the Hernes of Tibenham and Earsham. A substantial quantity of letters and personal papers, including sermons, notes from university studies, college bills and associated material have found their way into the Buxton archive. Of this family, two members may be singled out: the Revd John Herne (c. 1655-1707), D.D., Canon of Windsor and Rector of East Woodhay, and his brother Nicholas (c. 1656-1718), a businessman and sometime consul at Alicante, who left a book of housekeeping expenses (in Spanish) as well as many letters communicating news of political developments and military campaigns on the Continent towards the end of the seventeenth century.


Finally, there is a substantial collection of manorial and estate papers, originally belonging to the Hare family of Hargham. Their connection with the Buxtons is a remote one: In the middle of the seventeenth century Ralph Hare acquired the manor of Wilby from the Wilton family, and in the late eighteenth century Thomas Beevor, brother of Juliana Mary Buxton, married Anne, daughter and heir of Hugh Hare of Hargham, but neither of these facts explain the presence of these papers among the Buxton Papers. The Hare family owned substantial estates in Shropham hundred as well as in and around Fordham and Soham, Cambridgeshire. The papers are mainly of local interest, containing some court rolls and court books (Hargham, fourteenth to sixteenth centuries, Shropham hundred and Wilby, sixteenth century), and very extensive estate papers: leet court books of Shropham hundred, covering most of the sixteenth century, and complete records of the leet court verdicts of several manors in the said hundred between 1678 and 1749 (Attleborough, Baconsthorpe in Attleborough, Besthorpe, Hargham, Illington, Larling, Rockland, Roudham, Shropham and Wilby). Attention may also be drawn to a survey (1629) of Hargham Manor, updated in 1681 and accompanied by a very detailed map book of the town and manor of Hargham.

Date: 1160-1926

The collection was 'roughly sorted into 93 boxes' in 1903, further material being added between 1908 and 1926, and in 1966. Although the papers were to some extent grouped either chronologically, thematically or by type of document, more than half the collection was in fact boxed without discernible order or purpose. The size of the collection made it impossible to arrange the material in a more systematic way - this would have required taking the whole collection apart and, in many cases, separating papers from their original context. However, it was decided to group the correspondence and early deeds and charters separately from the rest of the collection. This decision has resulted in three different catalogues: a 'Calendar of Buxton Letters', a 'Calendar of Buxton Deeds (to 1517)' and a 'Catalogue of Buxton Papers'. The last of these lists the remaining, and largest, part of the collection, which was essentially left in the original boxes.


Whereas the letters and early deeds are catalogued individually, the main body of the Buxton Papers has been catalogued by summary description of box contents. To make this part of the collection more accessible, the material in each box has been grouped and described according to document type:


The calendars of Buxton deeds and Buxton letters each have their own index. The index to the 'Catalogue of Buxton Papers' lists personal names, family names with date ranges and place names with date ranges, enabling the user to target specific papers from chosen periods.

Related material:

1. Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts


Add. 3950, fos 128-78: Edward Blore's papers re building work at Shadwell Lodge, 1840-3;


Add. 3951, fos 5v-6, 17v-19, 35v-36, 91-2, 95v-96, 100v-222, 227v: Edward Blore's papers re building work, among others at Shadwell Lodge, 1841-8;


Add. 6958/1975: Sir Robert John Buxton to [William Pitt]. Copy of letter of 12 June 1796. Original is Buxton Papers 109/48.


Dd 13.8, fos 95-112: compotus of Robert Buxton and Nicolas Darcye, general receivers of the lands of Thomas, late Duke of Norfolk, 1579.


2. Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge


MS 740/785: Documents relating to Rushford and to Edmund Gonville's foundation there: 15 charters and deeds, 1320-1501, and a long and minute history (154 pp.) of Rushford College from the Conquest to the sixteenth century, compiled by Robert Buxton c. 1570.


3. Norfolk Record Office, Norwich


The NRO holds a sizeable collection of Buxton papers. Most of these are letters and papers of Robert Buxton relating to the administration of the late Duke of Norfolk's and the Earl of Arundel's affairs (1570-1603). There are also an extent roll of the manor of Rushford of 1271, a foundation deed of a chantry in Eyke of 1351, Sir Robert John Buxton's household expenses book for 1791-1811, and a detailed map of the manor of Channons of 1640 by John Harrison, surveyor. For a complete listing see Buxton Papers, box 133.


4. Norwich Castle Museum


A collection of 41 portrait paintings deposited by the Buxtons in 1949 and 1963. For a complete list see Buxton Papers, box 133.


5. British Library


Add. MS 42027, fos 86 ff.: Edward Blore's designs for Shadwell House.


6. Wiltshire Record Office, Trowbridge


1553/36: Rentals and accounts of the estates of Sir Robert John Buxton in Tockenham, Wootton Bassett, Lea, Hullavington, Clapcott in Grittleton, Norton, and Fowleswick, 1797-1829.

Held by: Cambridge University Library: Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Buxton family, baronets, of Shadwell Court, Norfolk

Physical description: 11,600 documents
Physical condition: The collection is generally in a sound condition. Some documents, in particular the earliest deeds and many of the architectural drawings have been conserved in recent times. Further documents in need of conservation received such treatment in the course of the cataloguing project, but a small number papers still await attention and may be temporarily unavailable for readers.
Immediate source of acquisition:

The Buxton Papers, the family archive of the Buxtons of Channons near Tibenham and later of Shadwell, three miles east of Thetford, were presented by Maud Buxton to the University Library in 1901, following the sale of Shadwell Court. Additional papers were presented by her and Augustus Jessopp between 1908 and 1926, and one box of material was transferred from the Wiltshire Archaeological Society in 1966. The collection, 131 boxes and miscellaneous individual items, consists of about 11,600 documents dating from around 1160 to 1926.

Publication note:

Baggs, A.P., 'Norfolk architects 1660-1840', Norfolk Archaeology, 32 (1958-61), 236-46.32 - NF5]


Baggs, A.P., 'Channons Hall', Norfolk Archaeology, 34 (1966-9), 9-13.32 - NF5]


Bennet,E.K.,'Notes on the original statutes of the College of St John the Evangelist of Rushford, Co. Norfolk, founded by Edmund Gonville, A.D. 1342', Norfolk Archaeology, 10 (1884-7), 50-64.32 - NF5]


Bennet,E.K.,'The College of St John the Evangelist of Rushford, Co. Norfolk', Norfolk Archaeology, 10 (1884-7), 277-382.32 - NF5]


Bennet,E.K., 'Notes from a Norfolk squire's note-book, with some particulars of school and college expenses in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries', Cambridge Antiquarian Communications (of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society), 5 (1880-84), 201-23.


Blomefield, F. An essay towards a topographical history of the county of Norfolk, 11 vols. (2nd ed., London, 1805-10; index by J.N. Chadwick, King's Lynn, 1862)


Cozens-Hardy, B., 'Some Norfolk halls', Norfolk Archaeology, 32 (1958-61), 163-208.


Davison, A.J., 'Some aspects of the agrarian history of Hargham and Snetterton as revealed in the Buxton MSS', Norfolk Archaeology, 35 (1970-73), 335-55.32 - NF5]


Ford, J. Natales Actoni, or Genealogical, Biographical and Heraldic Notices of the Family of Acton Girouard, M., 'Shadwell Park, Norfolk. The home of Sir John and Lady Musker',Country Life, 2 July 1964, 18-21 ('Part I'), and 9 July 1965, 98-102 ('Part II').


Girouard, M., The Victorian country house (Oxford, 1971), 95-8.9.21]


Jessopp, A., 'The manuscripts of Miss Buxton, at Shadwell court, Norfolk', Historical Manuscripts Commission, Various collections, vol. 2 (London, 1903), xix-xxiii and 227-88.


Kenworthy-Browne, J. et al. (eds), Burke's and Savills guide to country houses, vol. 3: 'East Anglia' (London, 1981), 182-3.981.3]


Ketton-Cremer, R.W., Norfolk portraits (London, [1944]), esp. 110-39.


Ketton-Cremer, R.W., Norfolk in the civil war. A portrait of a society in conflict (London, 1969).


McKitterick, D., '"Ovid with a Littleton": The cost of English books in the early seventeenth century', Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, XI/2 (1997), 183-234.


Moore, A. & Crawley, C., Family & friends. A regional survey of British portraiture, (London, 1992), esp. pp. 66-8, 77, 79, 115, 122-3 and colour plate 4.Owens, G.L., 'Two unpublished letters of Thomas Knyvett of Ashwellthorpe, 1641-1642', Norfolk Archaeology, 35 (1970-73), 428-32.32 - NF5]


Pevsner, N., The buildings of England. North-west and south Norfolk (London, 1962).


Rose, E. J., 'The Aslacton painting of Channonz Hall, Tibenham, and an early chartographic illustration', Norfolk Archaeology, 40 (1987-89), 109-13.32 - NF5]


Rye, W., 'Buxton of Shadwell Court', The Ancestor (Quarterly Review of County, Family History, Heraldry and Antiquities, ed. by Oswald Barron), no. 6 (July 1903), 11-18.6]


Ketton-Cremer, R.W., Norfolk families (Norwich, 1911-15), vol. 1, 85-7 and passim. 91.5-9]


Ketton-Cremer, R.W., An Index to Norfolk pedigrees (Norwich, 1896).


Smith, A. Hassell, County and court: government and politics in Norfolk, 1558-1603 (Oxford, 1974).95.26]


Sotheby's, 'Shadwell Park, Thetford, Norfolk': sales catalogue, 21-22 October 1992.


Dictionary articles on individual members of the Buxton family


A biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840, ed. by H. Colvin, 3rd ed. (London, 1978), 176.


The history of the House of Commons 1558-1603 (The History of Parliament), ed. by P.W. Hasler, vol. 1 (London 1981), 523-4.


The history of the House of Commons 1790-1820 (The History of Parliament), ed. by R.G. Thorne, vol. 3 (London 1986), 349-50 and 350-2.


Newspaper articles


The Norfolk Chronicle and The Norwich Mercury of 16 March 1850: articles reporting the festivities celebrating the majority of Robert Jacob Buxton. See Buxton Papers 127/13.


'Biographical notice of Sir Robert Jacob Buxton, Bart., MP, senior member for south Norfolk' [from an unidentified newspaper], 1881. See Buxton Papers 122/199.


'The Buxtons of Shadwell', The Norfolk News, 9 May 1903. See Buxton Papers 39/28.


G.H.W. 1998

  • Norfolk
Administrative / biographical background:

Towards the end of the sixteenth century the Buxton family adopted a fictitious pedigree tracing their ancestry back to Peter de Bukton, seneschal and steward in the household of the Earl of Derby, afterwards King Henry IV, but for heraldic as well as genealogical reasons it is more likely that the family originates from Oulton or Irmingland near Buxton in Norfolk, from which the family name almost certainly derives. The earliest records of this family begin with John Buxton junior (d. 1522) in 1464. Through careful land management and fortuitous marriages the family grew to be one of the major landowning families in the region. Robert Buxton (d. 1528) acquired the manor of Channons near Tibenham by marriage to Christiana Glemham, and his son John (1488-1572) built Channons Hall during the 1560s, home to the Buxton family for the next 200 years.


It was under Robert Buxton (c. 1533-1607) that the family rose to prominence. Robert entered the service of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, as surveyor and solicitor in 1559, serving him faithfully until the duke's death in 1572, although he seems to have been instrumental in putting down a rising in the duke's favour at Kenninghall in December 1569. After the duke's attainder and death Robert Buxton looked after the interests of his son Philip, Earl of Arundel, and later was one of the very few men licenced to visit the earl in the Tower. Not surprisingly, Robert was appointed one of the government's surveyor generals of the Howard lands in Norfolk and Suffolk, a task that must have caused him some conflict of conscience. At the same time he benefited to some extent from the demise of his masters. For his services to the crown he was rewarded, first with a lease of Rushford College (1580), and in 1599 with a licence to purchase this escheated property. Between December 1597 and April 1599, however, he spent more than a year in the Fleet. The reasons for his imprisonment are not clear, but may be connected with disputes over Rushford College and other Howard lands following the Earl of Arundel's attainder. Buxton's political influence in Norfolk and Suffolk is demonstrated by the offices he held: MP for Bramber (1559), Horsham (1563) and Arundel (1584), mayor of Thetford in 1588 and 1597, and Justice of the Peace in Norfolk in 1590-7 and 1604-7.


Robert Buxton's estate passed to his grandson Robert (1588-1611), his eldest son John (c. 1560-96) having died during his own lifetime. Robert's son, John Buxton (1608-60), followed the family tradition by entering the legal profession (admitted to Gray's Inn in 1626), and by 1635 was a Justice of the Peace. Although John seems to have been a somewhat retiring character - he liked the theatre and his books - it was inevitable that, as an important member of the county's gentry, he should be drawn into the political turmoil of the mid-seventeenth century. As a lieutenant-colonel in the Norfolk militia he was obliged to take part in the military exercises of the neighbourhood and to muster troops. There is no evidence, though, that he was involved in any military campaigns during the Civil War. On the death of Sir Francis Astley in May 1638 he became High Sheriff of Norfolk. John Buxton's papers include detailed accounts of the expenses and organisation which the office entailed at the Norfolk assizes or the mayor's feast in Norwich, but also of the support he received from his friends and neighbours. At the same time, the collection of ship money was a great burden. Having fulfilled this odious task as conscientiously as he could, the Long Parliament of 1640 declared the collection of ship money illegal, and men like Buxton were suddenly faced with the prospect of being called before a committee to account for 'their rigorous levying of ship money and possibly forced to good sore damages'. Fortunately for Buxton, no such legal action ensued. For the following two decades he seems to have maintained as low a profile as possible, keeping himself informed of current events by correspondence with men such as Thomas Knyvett, Robert Rawlins, William Le Neve and George Humphreys. Even so, Buxton was too prominent to escape attention. In 1645 he was included with several men of royalist or neutral sympathies in a committee charged with the raising of the tax for Lord Fairfax's New Army in Norfolk. In 1649 he seems to have suffered some harassment at the hands of the Army, necessitating a letter of protection from Fairfax. A few years later, in 1656, John Buxton was elected MP for Norfolk, but, like other royalists, was barred from taking up his seat in the Commons. He died on 29 April 1660, just a month before Charles II made his entry into London.


The following two generations were only short-lived. Robert Buxton (1633-62) survived his father by only two years. Shortly afterwards the family moved to Topcroft Hall, the family estate of Robert's widow, Hannah Wilton. Their eldest son John (1659-82) died at Orléans at the age of twenty-three, so his brother Robert (1659-91) continued the family line, having married into the Gooch family of Earsham. It was under his son, John Buxton (1685-1731) that this family began to adopt Shadwell as their principal home. In his lifetime John established a reputation as an amateur architect of some talent. Having inherited the Earsham estate from his mother, he completely rebuilt the manor house for his own use and designed Bixley Hall for his cousin, Sir Edward Ward. In 1721, shortly after its completion, he sold his house at Earsham to Col. James Windham and moved to Channons, subjecting the old house to extensive alterations and adding a new stables complex. Between 1727 and 1729 he built a new house at Shadwell on his Rushford estate. Initially Shadwell Lodge was intended as a secondary residence to escape the harsh climate and bleak surroundings of Channons during the winter months, but eventually the move to Shadwell became permanent. This transition was completed in 1786, when two of the three wings of Channons Hall were pulled down. John Buxton held few public offices - he was a major in the Norfolk militia, treasurer of Norwich Castle prison and Deputy Lieutenant in 1731 - and does not appear to have had a great deal of interest in the political affairs of his county.


John Buxton was succeeded first by his eldest son Robert (1710-51), who died unmarried, and then by Robert's brother John (1717-82). John seems to have taken care of the family estates long before the death of his ailing brother. After several years at Cambridge (Clare Hall) he put much energy into creating a park at Shadwell, planting huge numbers of trees and creating an artificial lake in 1754, thus changing completely the landscape surrounding Shadwell Lodge. Politically, John took a more active interest in county affairs. In the county elections of 1754 he and his friend William Fellowes unsuccessfully contested the nominations of George Townshend and Sir Armine Wodehouse, and in the 1768 election he campaigned on behalf of Sir Edward Astley and Wenman Coke in opposition to the government, the general warrants then being a major issue. In doing so, John Buxton unexpectedly found himself on the same side as the opposition's chief propagandist, the infamous Richard Gardiner (1723-81), who had previously vilified him and several other contemporaries in his autobiographical novel Pudica (1754), which caused something of a scandal in Norfolk, but, as usual, damaged Gardiner's own reputation rather than that of his victims.


Having served as Deputy Lieutenant in 1740 and 1761, and as Justice of the Peace in 1767, John Buxton was succeeded in 1782 by his son Robert John (1753-1839). The existing correspondence indicates that John Buxton was an ill-tempered character during his last years, rendering the relationship between father and son increasingly difficult. In May 1777, Robert John married, without his father's consent, Juliana Mary Beevor. For this and other reasons, which are not entirely clear, John seems to have temporarily disinherited his son, or at least severely cut his income; he certainly expelled him from Shadwell. Although they were reconciled by 1779, Robert John remained with his wife on an estate of his mother's family near Chippenham in Wiltshire until his father's death in 1782. Robert John's political career is well documented by his papers and by official documents. He may have regarded himself as an independent country gentleman, but he was a loyal supporter of William Pitt, whose government he represented in several elections and through active attendance in parliament. He sat as MP for Thetford, 1790-6, and Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire, 1797-1806. Throughout his political career he campaigned openly for the abolition of slavery and on several occasions advocated prison reform. Likewise, the welfare of the poor was a frequently expressed concern - in 1802, for example, he supported Sir Robert Peel's proposals to regulate child labour. On the other hand he opposed, on behalf of the landed interest, several measures from which the poor would have benefited, such as the regulation of labourers' wages or the sale of corn in the public market. He certainly was a fervent patriot, supporting the government's war effort where he could: he backed the militia augmentation and the Additional Force Act of 1804. For his efforts Robert John Buxton received a baronetcy in November 1800. On a county level, he served as a magistrate, Deputy Lieutenant (1780 and 1792) as well as lieutenant-colonel in the Norfolk Provisional Cavalry.


The last two generations of the Buxtons of Shadwell were much less ambitious politically. They, too, served as MPs, but were content to lead the lives of well-to-do Victorian country gentlemen, devoting their energies to the management of their estates, to administrative offices and charitable work in the county and, not least, to the cultivation of an agreeable social life with entertainments at home or at holiday resorts. Sir John Jacob Buxton (1788-1842), educated at Harrow School and Christ Church, Oxford, was MP for Great Bedwyn (1818-32), Deputy Lieutenant and High Sheriff for Norfolk in 1841. His main contribution to the history of his family is perhaps the enlargement of Shadwell Lodge to the designs of Edward Blore, one of the leading country house architects of the time. Between 1840 and 1842 the house was considerably enlarged and remodelled in the Jacobean style. Having waited to the mature age of fifty to come into his inheritance, John Jacob died three years later, and it was left to his widow Elizabeth (née Cholmeley) to supervise the completion of the building project. Lady Buxton, who must have been a formidable character, also managed Shadwell and its estates during the minority of her son, Sir Robert Jacob Buxton (1829-88), who was educated at Norwich and, like his father, at Christ Church, Oxford. He later became captain in the Norfolk Rifle Volunteer Corps (1860), High Sheriff of Norfolk (1870) and MP for South Norfolk (1871-85). In 1852, Sir Robert Jacob and his mother rebuilt the nearby parish church of Brettenham; three years later the remains of the old College of Rushford were restored and a bridge built across the adjoining ford. The architect for these building projects was Samuel Sanders Teulon, who also was responsible for the sensational additions to Shadwell House between 1856 and 1860. They turned the Buxtons' home into a monument of Victorian neo-Gothicism and have been described as one of Teulon's most important surviving works. The family history, as far as the Buxton Papers are concerned, ends with Sir Robert Jacob's heir, Maud Isabel Buxton (1866-1949), who sold the estate in 1898 and, in 1901, presented the Buxton family archive to the University Library.


Pedigree of the Buxton Family


(adm.=admitted; b.=born; bur.=buried; chr.=christened; d.=died; da.=daughter; m.=married; matr.=matriculated; m.i.=monumental inscription; w.d.=will dated; w.p.=will proved)


(John Buxton senior?, d. c. 1499)


John Buxton junior: m. Emma (d. 1499), da. of John Miles; d. 1522; m.i. Tibenham.


Robert Buxton: m. 1. Christiana, da. of Sir John Glemham; m. 2. Agnes (d. 1536/7), da. of John Miles of Bunwell; d. 1528; m.i. Tibenham.


John Buxton: b. 1488; m. Margaret, widow of Matthew Halliott/Halyet, da. of Robert Warner of Winfarthing; d. 5 Apr. 1572; m.i. Tibenham.


Robert Buxton: b. c. 1533; matr. Trinity Hall ('impubes') 1547; adm. Inner Temple Nov. 1553; called 1572; MP for Bramber (1559), Horsham (1563) and Arundel (1584); solicitor and surveyor in the service of Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, and Philip, Earl of Arundel; m. Joan (bur. 6 June 1594), da. of Robert Herne of Tibenham; d. 15 Nov 1607; succeeded by his grandson.


Robert Buxton (grandson of above): chr. 6 Feb. 1588; m. 5 Nov. 1607 Elizabeth (b. 1591), da. of Edmund D'Oyly of Shottisham and of Catherine Neville; d. 17 Jan. 1611; his widow m. 2. William Pert of Mountnessing, Essex.


John Buxton: b. 23 Oct. 1608; adm. Gray's Inn 10 May 1626; High Sheriff of Norfolk 1638; MP for Norfolk 1656; m. Nov. 1627 Margaret (1611-11 May 1687), eldest da. of William Pert of Mountnessing, Essex, and of Isabel, da. of Thomas Conyers of East Barnett, Hertfordshire; d. 29 Apr. 1660; m.i. Tibenham.


Robert Buxton: chr. 9 July 1633; adm. Gray's Inn 27 Apr. 1653; m. 24 Aug. 1654 Hannah (d. 1709), da. of Robert Wilton of Wilby and of Hannah Jay;


d. 13 Sep. 1662.


John Buxton: b. 1658; adm. Pembroke College, Cambridge 19 Mar. 1675; d. unmarried at Orléans 12 July 1682; succeeded by his brother Robert.


Robert Buxton: b. 9 Apr. 1659; adm. Clare Hall, Cambridge 4 Apr. 1687; m. 1684 Elizabeth (1664-4 July 1730, m.i. Rushford), da. of Leonard Gooch of Earsham and of Dorothy Catelyn; d. 15 July 1691; m.i. at Rushford.


John Buxton: b. at Topcroft 15 Sep. 1685; educated at Bury St Edmund; self-taught architect, major in the Norfolk militia, Deputy Lieutenant 1731; m. 18 July 1709 Anne (Jan. 1691-1749), da. of Clement Gooch of Earsham and of Sarah Herne; d. 27 Oct. 1731; m.i. Rushford.


Robert Buxton: chr. 7 May 1710; educated at Harlston and Playford, Suffolk; adm. Clare Hall, Cambridge 25 May 1727; d. unmarried 18 Mar. 1751.


John Buxton: b. at Earsham 1717; educated at Bury St Edmunds; adm. Clare Hall, Cambridge 11 Feb. 1735; Deputy Lieutenant 1740 and 1761; m. c. 1752 Elizabeth (1720-10 Oct. 1765, m.i. Tibenham), da. of John Jacob of Tockenham, Wiltshire, and of Mary Smith; d. before 19 Apr. 1782.


Robert John Buxton, 1st Baronet: b. 27 Oct 1753; educated at Luton, Bedfordshire, and Lymm, Cheshire; MP for Thetford, 1790-6, and Great Bedwyn, 1797-1806; Deputy Lieutenant 1780 and 1792; created 1st baronet Nov. 1800; m. 22 May 1777 Juliana Mary (c. 1759-5 Feb. 1843), da. of Sir Thomas Beevor of Hethel and of Elizabeth Branthwait; d. 7 June 1839.


John Jacob Buxton, 2nd Baronet: b. at Norwich 13 Aug. 1788; educated at Ealing, Harrow School, and at Harlow; adm. Trinity College, Cambridge 14 Oct. 1805; matr. Christ Church, Oxford 29 Jan. 1807; MP for Great Bedwyn, 1818-31; Deputy Lieutenant and High Sheriff for Norfolk 1841; m. 5 Aug. 1825 Elizabeth (17 Sep. 1803-28 Aug. 1884), da. of Sir Montague Cholmeley and of Elizabeth Harrison; d. at Tunbridge Wells 13 Oct. 1842.


Robert Jacob Buxton, 3rd Baronet: b. at London 13 Mar. 1829; educated at Norwich; matr. Christ Church, Oxford 27 May 1847; High Sheriff of Norfolk 1870; MP for South Norfolk 1871-85; m. Mary Augusta Harriet (1846?-9 Aug. 1913), da. of John Johnstone of Alva and of Caroline Pannel; d. 20 Jan. 1888.

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